Maryland Receives Federal Approval for New Developmental Disabilities Support Waiver
State Will Expand Services Through Family Supports Waiver
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that Maryland has received federal approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand services for individuals with developmental disabilities through the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration’s (DDA) Family Supports Waiver. Services offered through the waiver will be available by February 2018, and this federal approval is expected to reduce the current waiting list by 400 individuals.
“Our administration is proud to be able to proactively provide this additional support for individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, and caregivers,” said Governor Hogan. “We have worked closely with families, advocates, and professionals to get the right combination of services to reduce the current waiting list, and ultimately improve the quality of life for Marylanders with disabilities.”
The waiver program will operate through the DDA under the Maryland Department of Health. Through the waiver, services will be available to individuals and families for children, from birth to age 21, with developmental disabilities who are currently on the DDA waiting list.
The program’s specific goals include providing: innovative service options that build on the Support Families Community of Practice; individual and family self-direction opportunities; increased flexibility for individuals and families to allocate financial resources within their approved person-centered plan; and short-term exceptions to the overall budget caps based on exceptional needs.
The Family Supports Waiver program offers innovative community-based features such as coordinated staff support, which will be available for individuals who qualify after school, nights, weekends, and during the summer months when school is not in session.
In addition to staff support, the waiver takes a proactive and family-oriented approach to ensuring best practices for inclusive disability support services. These practices include assistive technology, behavioral support, environmental assessments, environmental modifications, family caregiver training, family and peer mentoring supports, participant education, training and advocacy, respite care, transportation, and vehicle modifications.
“We have been listening to what people with developmental disabilities want their lives to look like and have created support services that we believe will assist them in achieving their personal vision of a good life,” said Bernard Simons, Developmental Disabilities Administration Deputy Secretary for Maryland Department of Health. “The approval of this waiver brings us one step closer to our transformation to a more flexible, person-centered, family-oriented system of supports.”
Additional information on the Family Supports Waiver can be found here.